Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beckham and AC Milan still hopeful of LA Galaxy deal

David Beckham and AC Milan remain confident of completing a deal to keep the England international in Italy on a permanent basis, despite Los Angeles Galaxy insisting negotiations were at an end.

Milan are believed to have offered £7 million to turn Beckham's loan deal, which expires on March 9, into a long-term move, but Galaxy and Major League Soccer are holding out for £12 million.

When Milan failed to match the asking price on Friday, the Galaxy chief executive Tim Leiweke cancelled talks and stated that the club expected Beckham to return for the start of the MLS season.

Both the Italian side and the player himself are hopeful a deal can still be agreed. Beckham's spokesman Simon Oliveira said yesterday: "David is focused on [tonight's] Milan derby. Every option is still open. We will be addressing this early next week."

Carlo Ancelotti, the Serie A club's manager, said: "We still have 20 days to complete the deal. Galaxy have forced the situation, but there's time. I hope he can play in other derbies."

Galaxy expect Milan to return with an improved bid, though they are still likely to fall short of the MLS estimate. There has been talk between the two camps over a possible cash plus player deal, with Galaxy keen to shore up their leaky defence with a high-profile centre half.

Milan are thought to be happy to exchange either Kakha Kaladze or the Italian international Daniele Bonera, while Galaxy are thought to be keen on inheriting the first option Milan have on Arsenal's Philippe Senderos.

Beckham has made it plain he wants to stay in Italy, where he has the chance to become the only player to win the Italian, Spanish and English league titles.

The England manager, Fabio Capello, has made no secret of his desire to see Beckham playing to a higher standard than that offered by the MLS, and Beckham's ambition remains to play for England at next year's World Cup.

Capello would not rule out selecting Beckham should he return to America, but it would certainly harm his international prospects.

Beckham will now meet with his advisors this week to devise the best course of action should the two clubs fail to agree a fee. Buying out his contract with the Galaxy remains an option, while he has a clause in his deal allowing him to leave for nothing in October.

Source: Telegraph

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